Sunday, February 1, 2015

Prospect Nation 2015: #14 LHP Tom Windle

Tom Windle, image-
Acquired by the Phillies this off-season, left-handed pitcher Tom Windle joined a new organization and quickly jumped into their top ranked prospects.

Part of the return from the Dodgers in the swap for Phillies all-time hits leader Jimmy Rollins, along with right-hander Zach Eflin, Windle is a promising hurler with tools that scouts have long been high on.

A 2nd round pick in 2013 (56th overall), the Minnesota native debuted in the minors the same year with Class A Great Lakes. In 13 games (12 starts), Windle posted a 5-1 record with a 2.68 ERA while striking out 51 and walking 20 in 53 2/3 innings. His excellent initial pro effort followed a strong junior campaign at the University of Minnesota that year which saw the youngster sport a 6-4 record, a 2.14 ERA with a .208 batting average against and 86 strike outs in 92 2/3 innings in 14 games.

With Class A Advanced Rancho Cucamongo last year, the six-foot-four 215-pounder tallied a 12-8 record with a 4.26 ERA while striking out 111 and walking 44 in 139 1/3 innings over 26 games (25 starts).

Some critics point out Windle's command as a concern, but his 2.98 BB/9 in one-and-a-half seasons in the pro ranks doesn't stand out as alarming for a guy at this stage of his young career. In fact, it's considerably better than highly regarded former Phils first-round draft pick Jesse Biddle (4.48 BB/9), top Twins prospect Alex Meyer (3.76 BB/9) and plenty of others.

The repertoire that the 22-year-old brings to the table features a fastball that most often ranges from 91 to 93 MPH. He does project to add velocity. He also touts a strong slider with great movement and a change up that needs refinement to be big league ready. Mechanics and technique are consistent and solid for Windle.

Windle, who has a twin brother named Sam, was previously drafted by the White Sox (28th round) out of high school in 2010, but chose not to sign.

It’s possible Windle’s future could be out of the bullpen, but to date he’s been a starting pitcher. Without assertion of a role change, it seems possible that Windle could be part of a stacked rotation for the Double-A Fightins this coming season that could be slated to include names like the aforementioned Biddle and Eflin, last year's top Phillies draft selection Aaron Nola and recent acquisition Ben Lively, all of whom are yet to pop up on this countdown. The group could be the foundation of the future of the Phillies’ organization.

To follow along with this year’s full countdown, click HERE.

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